Marian remained standing where Walter Joyce had left her, gazing after his retreating figure until it had passed out of sight. At first so little did she comprehend the full meaning of the curt sentence in which he had conveyed to her his abrupt rejection of the bribe which she had proposed to him, his perfect appreciation of the snare which she had prepared for him, that she had some sort of an idea that he would hesitate on his career, stop, turn back, and finally consent, if not to an immediate concession to her views, at all events to some further discussion, with a view to future settlement. But after his parting bow he strode unrelentingly onward, and it was not until he had reached the end of the newly made road, and, dropping down into the meadows leading to Helmingham, had entirely disappeared, that Marian realised how completely she had been foiled, was able to understand, to estimate, and, in estimating, to wince under, the bitter scorn with which her suggestion had been received, the scathing terms in which that scorn had been conveyed. A money value for anything to be desired--that was the only way in which he could make it clear to her understanding or appreciation--was not that what he had said? A money value Marian Creswell was not of those who sedulously hide their own failings from themselves, shrink at the very thought of them, make cupboard-skeletons of them, to be always kept under turned key. Too sensible for this, she knew that this treatment only enhanced the importance of the skeleton, without at all benefiting its possessor, felt that much the better plan was to take it out and subject it to examination, observe its form and its articulation, dust its bones, see that its joints swung easily, and replace it in its cupboard-home. But all these rites were, of course, performed in private, and the world was to be kept in strict ignorance of the existence of the skeleton. And now Walter Joyce knew of it; a money value, her sole standard of appreciation. Odd as it may seem, Marian had never taken the trouble to imagine to herself to what motive Walter would ascribe her rejection of him, her preference of Mr. Creswell. True, she had herself spoken in her last letter of the impossibility of her enjoying life without wealth and the luxuries which wealth commands, but she had argued to herself that he would scarcely have believed that, principally, perhaps, from the fact of her having advanced the statement so boldly, and now she found him throwing the argument in her teeth. And if Walter knew and understood this to be the dominant passion of her soul, the great motive power of her life, the knowledge was surely not confined to him--others would know it too. In gaining her position as Mr. Creswell's wife, her success, her elation, had been so great as completely to absorb her thoughts, and what people might say as to the manner in which that success had been obtained, or the reasons for which the position had been sought, had never troubled her for one instant. Now, however, she saw at once that her designs had been suspected, and doubtless talked of, sneered at, and jested over, and her heart beat with extra speed, and the blood suffused her cheeks, as she thought of how she had probably been the subject of alehouse gossip, how the townsfolk and villagers amongst whom, since the canvassing time, she had recently been so much, must have all discussed her after she had left their houses, and all had their passing joke at the young woman who had married the old man for his money. She stamped her foot in rage upon the ground as the idea came into her mind; it was too horrible to think she should have afforded scandal-matter to these low people, it was so galling to her pride; she almost wished that--and just then the sharp, clear, silvery tinkle of the little bells sounded on her ear, and the perfectly-appointed carriage with the iron-gray ponies came into view, and the next minute she had taken the reins from James, had received his salute, and, drawing her sealskin cloak closely round her, was spinning towards her luxurious home, with the feeling that she could put up with all their talk, and endure all their remarks, so long as she enjoyed the material comforts which money, had undoubtedly brought her.
Amos somehow proved to have the stronger nerves in this crisis. It may have been that his natural curiosity forced him to keep on looking, even though from time to time he was compelled to emit exclamations indicative of horror, amazement, or wildly enthusiastic admiration.
206Treve’s pedigree name was “Sunnybank Sigurd.” And in time he won his right to the hard-sought and harder-earned prefix of “CHAMPION”;—the supreme crown of dogdom.
The boys looked at each other almost in awe at the frightful result of that volley from the fleet. Then Jack handed the glasses over so that his chum could see for himself the gruesome sight.
Then he tried to waken fully, and he couldn't do that either. He stayed in a dream-like, frustrated state which was partly like a nightmare, while very gradually new sensations came to him. He felt a cushioned throbbing against his chest, in the very hard surface on which he lay face down. That surface swayed and rocked slightly. He tried again to move, and realized that his hands and feet were bound. He found that he shivered, and realized that his clothing had been taken from him.
"I'll murder 'em!"
Votbinnik vs. Lysmov
"And by the time we've got a crop growing out of what was bare rock, you'll be ready to move in," the Boyar Chef d'Regime snapped. "But you'll find that we aren't alone!"
Before him, striking on my brow.”
——Your smaller studies are in this, I suppose,——I said, taking up the drawing-book with a lock on it.——Yes,——she said.——I should like to see her style of working on a small scale.——There was nothing in it worth showing,——she said; and presently I saw her try the lock, which proved to be fast. We are all caricatured in it, I haven’t the least doubt. I think, though, I could tell by her way of dealing with us what her fancies were about us boarders. Some of them act as if they were bewitched with her, but she does not seem to notice it much. Her thoughts seem to be on her little neighbor more than on anybody else. The young fellow John appears to stand second in her good graces. I think he has once or twice sent her what the landlady’s daughter calls bó-kays of flowers,——somebody has, at any rate.——I saw a book she had, which must have come from the divinity-student. It had a dreary title-page, which she had enlivened with a fancy portrait of the author,——a face from memory, apparently,——one of those faces that small children loathe without knowing why, and which give them that inward disgust for heaven so many of the little wretches betray, when they hear that these are “good men,” and that heaven is full of such.——The gentleman with the diamond——the Koh-i-noor, so called by us——was not encouraged, I think, by the reception of his packet of perfumed soap. He pulls his purple mustache and looks appreciatingly at Iris, who never sees him as it should seem. The young Marylander, who I thought would have been in love with her before this time, sometimes looks from his corner across the long diagonal of the table, as much as to say, I wish you were up here by me, or I were down there by you,——which would, perhaps, be a more natural arrangement than the present one. But nothing comes of all this,——and nothing has come of my sagacious idea of finding out the girl’s fancies by looking into her locked drawing-book.详情 ➢
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